Pterodactyl Show and Tell

Written by Thad Krasnesky
Illustrated by Tanya Leonello

When a boy brings his pterodactyl to school for show-and-tell, hilarious havoc ensues. The dinosaur’s delightfully demented antics, the kids’ expressions as they try to avoid the hungry pterodactyl, and the out-of-control imagination of the boy yield a wild and wacky romp.

Pterodactyl Show and Tell taps into the childhood wish to bring a dinosaur to school, allowing readers to safely enjoy the laugh-out-loud logical conclusion: classroom chaos.

Kids who dig dinosaurs will devour this preposterous pterodactyl tale written in rhyming couplets and teeming with edgy school-age humor and giggle-inducing illustrations.

classroom, dinosaur, pterodactyl, hide-and-seek, pet, show, show and tell, boy, school, responsibility, fairness, caring classroom, dinosaur, pterodactyl, hide-and-seek, pet, show, show and tell, boy, school, responsibility, fairness, caring


  • Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval, 2019


From Kirkus
When a boy brings his pet pterodactyl for show-and-tell, chaos reigns in the third grade.
Told from the boy’s point of view, the book walks readers through this not-so-typical show-and-tell day, which starts when the pterodactyl almost eats a couple classmates before they’ve even entered the building. But then Krasnesky takes off the kid gloves, and the children start disappearing: “My teacher had to make some minor changes in attendance, / and social studies looked more like the War of Independence.” The illustration that accompanies this last phrase shows the students barricaded behind desks and chairs, one holding an American flag, another playing a (banana) fife, the narrator playing a drum, and several flinging paper projectiles. At recess, the kids all played hide-and-seek (duh!). Leonello gets plenty of practice at illustrating fear, shock, and dismay in her digital artwork. As the day goes on, she masterfully incorporates funny elements that reflect what’s happening: In math, there’s a circle graph showing the number of students present and those absent (i.e., eaten), and during reading, don’t miss the titles of the kids’ books. The class, headed by a white teacher, starts the day diverse but ends up populated by only the white, redheaded narrator and his green pet.
Have your teacher read this the day before show-and-tell: Any pet will be more than welcome…as long as it’s not a pterodactyl. (Picture book. 4-8)

From MomReadIt
“This rhyming tale about a boy who brings his pterodactyl to school for show and tell will have readers laughing as the dino wreaks havoc on the school day. He tries to eat some classmates, and has teachers hiding behind their desks, but he also finds time to have fun in the playground, enjoy a math lesson, and demonstrate how to brush his teeth! The kids aren’t as open to the new experience as the ptero’s human is, but he gets a quick promotion to fourth grade out of it. Too bad the fourth grade doesn’t seem to allow show and tell! The rhyming is fun, but the pictures sell it in this book; the expressive, goofy-faced pterodactyl is never a threatening figure, which makes the reactions from classmates and faculty even funnier. Watching a winged dinosaur upend the school from classroom to cafeteria is likely every kid’s dream, and will go over in a big way here. Absolutely fun reading – who doesn’t love a dinosaur?”

From Edwards Book Club, Christa McGrath
A third grade student brings his pet in to school for a typical “show and tell” except his pet really isn’t all that typical. His pet is a Pterodactyl, which is a prehistoric flying reptile. As you can imagine, pandemonium follows as the Pterodactyl attends classes with his owner and has a difficult time fitting in. Even though the other children and the teacher can’t help but be a little frightened, the young boy is calm and proud as can be.  For young readers, the pet’s antics are not scary though; they are just funny. I mean, how can you not find it amusing watching a pterodactyl trying to learn math or play hide and seek!
This book is told from the young boy’s point of view and is done so in a catchy, rhyming pattern. It flows from one classroom to the next following a logical sequence of school-day events. What I really liked about this book is that children can see what kinds of learning activities happen at school. For one, math, but there is also social studies, art, Spanish (learning a new language), science, health and computers. I think what children will really like about this book are the big, bold, and colorful illustrations that show the playfulness of the Pterodactyl as it carries on its day completely oblivious to the chaos it is creating. They’ll be amused from cover to cover.
Dinosaur-loving kids will surely love this book. It’s a funny and sneakily educational tale making it a great book for school and home bookshelves.

From StoreyBook Reviews
This is a cute children’s book with wonderful illustrations that reflect what happens when you take a Pterodactyl to school. I think children will enjoy the illustrations and the simple story line. It even has a few moments that made me laugh out loud.
We give it 5 paws up.

From Grandma Ideas
…Items typically taken for show and tell include puppies, kitties, a toy car, something a kid built with her father. Things like that. But, nobody, and I mean NOBODY has every taken a pterodactyl to school for show and tell. And that is what makes this book such a delight!
Pterodactyl Show and Tell  by Thad Krasnesky is a fabulous children’s book. It’s a rhyming poem — but the rhyming scheme is so clever that you really don’t realize it upon your first reading. By that I mean the author doesn’t use worn out pairs of rhyming words such as go and show or me and see. He skillfully weaves witty sentences using words such as squeak and seek and beat and delete…. In addition to the skillful wordsmithing of this story, I absolutely LOVE the illustrations! Tanya Leonello has done a terrific job. The scared, worried, and anxious looks on the kids’ face are superb. The pterodactyl looks adorable and lovable — not scary at all! And I love how the illustrations subtly add to the story like the titles of the books (and the pictures on the book covers) that the kids have during reading time. It’s awesome!
But the best thing that I like is the time that I get to snuggle with a grandchild while reading this marvelous book. The book captivates my grandchildren’s attention — and they insist we read it again and again. That shows that this book is stamped with kids’ approval…. I highly recommend this book! I think that it should be in every family’s library. It’s fun to read and fun to look at the wonderful illustration.
Thad Krasnesky and Tanya Leonello you get my two thumbs up!

From BookwormforKids, Tonja Drecker
Giggles are guaranteed in this silly yet somewhat edgy story of a pet many kids would enjoying owing…at least, in their dreams....This is a fun read, packed with imagination. The idea of taking a pterodactyl to school already will make young listeners curious. From the very first page it becomes clear that things aren’t going to run smoothly, especially when the boy barely manages to keep his pterodactyl from devouring two kids before the first bell! But this book doesn’t overstep any boundaries, nor does it turn into a creepy or scary read. The pterodactyl might have hunger on his mind, but there are too many other things going on if he does. This makes for a very edgy read, where snorts and giggles slide right along.
The illustrations portray the pterodactyl as cute and friendly while still keeping him big and just a tad bit menacing. It’s not enough to scare or make young readers not wish for their own pterodactyl (he is a lot of fun), but combined with the uncertain and scared looks on the characters’ faces, a little bit of fear comes through. It’s makes for a lovely mixture, especially since there’s a lot of silliness built into the scenes as well. It’s enjoyable just to look over the illustrations and get a taste for the nonsense again and again.
This book makes for a fun read, especially for dinosaur fans…. a read young listeners will enjoy.

From Jean Little Library, Jennifer Wharton
Kids really like books where things, people, kids, or animals get eaten. They just do. Get used to it. This book not only fulfills that basic urge, it also includes dinosaurs, so pretty much the two best things ever!
….Verdict: If, like me, you like to have “things being eaten” themed storytimes, this is a definite addition to that delightful genre.  

From Midwest Book Review, The Picturebook Shelf
Deftly written by Thad Krasnesky in rhyming couplets, and with colorfully funny illustrations by Tanya Leonello, “Pterodactyl Show and Tell” is that story of a young boy who brings his pterodactyl to school for show-and-tell resulting in hilarious havoc. The creature’s delightfully demented antics, the kids’ expressions as they try to avoid the hungry pterodactyl, and the out-of-control imagination of the boy yield a wild and wacky romp. “Pterodactyl Show and Tell” will have special appeal for kids ages 5-7 who dig dinosaurs! While very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Pterodactyl Show and Tell” is also available in a digital book format.

From StoryMamas
This is a funny story about a boy who brings his pet Pterodactyl to school for his class’s show and tell. With each attempt to show off his friend, craziness ensues during each class period!
Written in rhyme by Thad Krasnesky and Illustrated by Tanya Leonello, this is a silly story with a fun twists and detailed illustrations on each page! This will surely entertain your kids.
My 4 year old son found this book hilarious and asks to read it often! The story follows many class periods so we were able to discuss all different subjects, such a math and science.

From Kids’ BookBuzzReviewed By:  
It’s show and tell day! What do you bring? A helmet? A book? A toy dump truck? No, you bring your pterodactyl of course! A third grader decides for show and tell he’s going to bring his pterodactyl, but little does he know this is going to lead to disastrous results. The school day is in upheaval as the pterodactyl manages to make every subject a little more prehistoric; it seems like the students may not make it out of third grade, let alone the day! One of my favorite things about this book was the little hidden “easter eggs” when the class is in reading–pay attention to their book titles! I also loved how the redhead owner doesn’t seem to notice the havoc that his pterodactyl is unleashing in the classroom–it’s all just fun and games! Not only does Pterodactyl Show and Tell rhyme, but it shows us that maybe we are really lucky the dinosaurs are extinct. And I was thrilled to be able to read this book. I look forward to reading more from Thad Krasnesky, but I’m crossing my fingers his stories stay prehistoric!

5 stars!

From Smarty Pants Magazine for Kids
When a boy shows up with his pet pterodactyl for show and tell, the class is in for a HUGE surprise. Social studies turned into the War of Independence. Math was fun and until the Pterodactyl went for a run. During reading no one made a squeak and recess was a weird game of hide-and-seek. Science had the Pterodactyl conducting a tasting test, but his subject didn’t think it was the best! However, by the end of the day, this show-and-tell pet may not have been the best idea. What else happens when there’s a Pterodactyl in the third grade class? Find out in Pterodactyl Show and Tell.
Created by Thad Krasnesky and Tanya Leonello, this “prehistoric” rhyming tale is sure to please all those dino-loving kiddos!

From Billie on Goodreads
When a boy brings his Pterodactyl to school for show and tell there is chaos in the classroom. This is a delightful tale. The illustrations are superb! The expressions on the children’s and teachers faces are charming. This is a wonderful book that children are certain to relate to. 

From Books, Brews, & Booze on Goodreads
As far as children’s books go, I suppose it is edgy, lol! It did surprise me with some of the shenanigans that ensued, namely the eating habits of the pterodactyl! I have to wonder… did that really happen, or is it all the boy’s imagination? 😉 The world may never know! 
The illustrations are well done and I love the pages where the students are reading books – I like the funny titles and the book with the cute spider on it is my favorite. 
Appropriate for ages three and up, I’d say. Seven or eight seems like a sweet spot for getting the book’s humor, but younger kids will like the rhyming words. 

From Grandma Home Blogger, Tammy Embrich
…a huge hit among grandmothers and mothers out there since its publication…written with charming imagination for a child’s fantasy in mind, and fabricated with fun rhyming words. What Grandma wouldn’t LOVE to read this to her grandchildren!? Excellent read with a collection of fun, colorful illustrations!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I will also, enjoy reading it to my grandchildren! TWO THUMBS up for me!

From Children’s Literary Classics
Pterodactyl Show and Tell, by Thad Krasnesky, is the tale of a young boy who brings his pterodactyl to school.  As the day progresses, his pet unwittingly frightens everyone in the third grade . . . students and teachers alike.  Crazy antics ensue, from the playground to science class, and everywhere in between.  This wonderfully imaginative book is sure to incite riotous laughter as it entertains readers of all ages.  Comical illustrations by Tanya Leonello are a perfect addition to this book which is sure to become a favorite for kids and adults.

Altogether whimsical, and utterly delightful, Pterodactyl Show and Tell is recommended for home and school libraries and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

About the Creators

Thad Krasnesky is the author of I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way, and That Cat Can’t Stay. He considers himself a writer of children’s stories trapped in the body of an army major. He served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as an active duty intelligence officer in the US Army. 
He lives in Lansing, KS, and this is his third picture book.


 tanya, leonello, classroom, dinosaur, pterodactyl, hide-and-seek, pet, show, show and tell, boy, school, responsibility, fairness, caringTanya Leonello has an MFA in medical illustration, and specialized in scientific illustration for over 15 years. Her second career as a mother provided inspiration to create art for children’s picture books. Tanya lives in Dexter, MI.
You can find out more about Tanya and her work on her website

Book Details

ISBN: HC 9781936261345  ePDF 9781936261567  EPUB 9781936261574  KF8 9781936261581  Audiobook 9781947277816  Read-aloud Audio 9781947277700
Print Length: 32 Full Color Pages
Publication Date: Spring 2018
Age Group: 5-7

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:
Names: Krasnesky, Thad, author. | Leonello, Tanya, illustrator.
Title: Pterodactyl show and tell / written by Thad Krasnesky ; illustrated by Tanya Leonello.
Description: Brooklyn, NY : Flashlight Press, 2018. | Summary: Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text reveal the consequences when a third-grade boy brings his pet pterodactyl to school for Show and Tell.
Identifiers: LCCN 2018012268 (print) | LCCN 2018018570 (ebook) | ISBN   9781936261574 (epub) | ISBN 9781936261581 (kindle) | ISBN 9781936261567 (pdf) | ISBN 9781936261345 (hardback)
Subjects: | CYAC: Stories in rhyme. | Pterodactyls–Fiction. | Dinosaurs–Fiction. | Show-and-tell presentations–Fiction. | Schools–Fiction. | Humorous stories. | BISAC: JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories. | JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures.
Classification: LCC PZ8.3.K8638 (ebook) | LCC PZ8.3.K8638 Pte 20128 (print) | DDC [E]–dc23
LC record available at

Activity Guides & More

Leveling Information

Lexile Measurements provided by Metametrics. Guided Reading Levels provided by Marla Conn using Fountas and Pinnel Guided Reading Text Characteristics.

Lexile Display: AD570L

Word Count: 203

MSL: 10.684

MLF: 3.552

Decoding Display: High

Semantic Display: Very High

Syntactic Display: Very High

Structure Display: Very High 

Guided Reading Level: L

Grade Level Equivalent: 2

Interest Level by Grade: Pre-K-5

Educational Description: Picture book, fantasy, a pterodactyl tale, lyrical text, rhythm and rhyme

Story Elements: setting; school, plot and character development, problem and solution, humorous tone, figurative language, illustrations enhance meaning and tone

Comprehension Strategies: identify cause and effect relationships, make inferences, draw conclusions, identify changes from beginning to end of the story

Themes: Dinosaurs, school, show and tell